Today I am reflecting on my eldest son completing the HSC (he has his last exam today) and the huge changes that have occurred in the time since I completed the HSC.
One of the big changes in this digital world in which we live is the kind of university degrees now available, the content of those degrees and the changed focus that they have.
My son is going to study Mathematics – yes he is a numbers nerd, a little like his parents, but the breadth and scope of what is entailed in a Maths degree in the era of big data is huge and exciting.
Likewise, the changed focus with English is quite significant. Back in the day, being good at English didn’t mean much really unless you intended to teach English, write a novel or work in publishing.
Today the ability to write well is a game changer in our digital world. The way we communicate with clients is so different from 20 years ago, everyone needs to be a storyteller. Everyone needs to understand the power of words in getting out to your clients and potential clients your brand story.
And make no mistake, it is all about telling the story of your brand.
The way consumers research, browse and buy is so different now, so fast paced and so overwhelming at times, that they need to build a connection to you. And how do we build connections – by telling a good story.
So – everyone needs to be a content marketer.
What is that?
Its heart is to tell the story of your brand.
Think about not just what you do (which should be easy) but why you do it.
This should come through in your writing; your customers need to feel a connection to ensure that they come back and read you again. They get to know you, understand who you are, that you understand them and their pain points and come back to you time and time again to read and understand what you have to say.
and when ready – who do they trust?
So here are 5 quick tips to get you on your way
- Create an editorial calendar – if you don’t set up a calendar then you have nothing to check yourself against. If you are serious about posting regular, relevant content then you need to make time in your work schedule to do it and allocate the work to either yourself or your team (or to your outsourced digital experts who know your business!)
- Tell not sell – today’s content marketer needs to be focussed on telling a story, identifying with your customers and building connections. So be helpful, be relevant and be consistent with your approach. You need to be outlining the why your message and offer is relevant to solving a problem or answering a question for them – your customer. Building connections is how you do this
- Think about your title first – what is the heart of your message, what are you really wanting them to understand. If you focus on the purpose of the article, then all SEO requirements will flow organically from this process. So think – Page Title – what do I want them to know – what is the answer to their question. Headings – how do they expand on the answer to the question.
- Read Widely – If you are unsure how good content marketers work, or how people in your industry do it, start reading. Start following and start noticing how successful people are building up content and building up relationships. Don’t kid yourself that successful businesses are not doing this – successful people are doing this. Actively search inside LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Before your write a piece of content, do some searching of your own and read and understand how others have done this.
- Check your grammar – nothing detracts from a great story than the distraction of poorly spelt copy, poorly chosen images or just poor grammar. It is a simple process and sometimes we can get caught up in the excitement of being published online, but step back, take stock and check your work. Your brand has a great story, make sure you give your audience every chance to take it all in – and not get distracted by side issues.